NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) -- Parents have a dollar figure in mind when saving up for college and it's a pretty big one. That goal is to stash away $405 every month, according to Fidelity Investments' 2014 College Resolutions Study.
That's more than the average monthly bills for electricity, phone and groceries for most U.S. households, and it would be unthinkable to the average family 20 or 30 years ago.
According to Statisticbrain.com, the average cost of one year of college back in 1980-81 was $3,101. For 2012-13, that rose to $19,344, and to more than $32,000 for private colleges.
Even with the cost of paying for college rising substantially -- at a 5.2% rate above and beyond the rate of inflation in the past decade, according to CollegeBoard.com parents are grimly determined to save for college.
The Fidelity study says 85% of U.S. parents put saving for college among the "top three" financial priorities, and 34% say it's their "top priority" in 2014.
Some other data from the study:
- This year, 80% of families will save either as much or more than they did for college last year.
- 58% have a "financial plan" to help manage their savings programs.
- "Most" parents say their magic number for monthly college savings averages out to $405 per month, Fidelity reports.
Whether it's because they want to or have to (and probably a combination of both), college funding programs are a New Year's resolution parents are adamant about maintaining.